Category Archives: SEAFA

Row over Sea Point pavilion turns to finances

The battle for the Sea Point Pavilion continues – this time with lobby group Seafront for All (Seafa) accusing the developers of not having enough money to continue with their legal battle.

Seafa claims that On Track does not have any material assets, and it has asked the company to put up security to ensure that it can meet any adverse costs order granted against it.

Seafa made the claims about On Track’s financial status in papers filed earlier this month, in response to the company’s Supreme Court of Appeal application for leave to appeal a March High Court ruling against it.

The ruling effectively halted the proposed development of the pavilion, which includes the building of a multi-storey shopping centre and hotel.

The area would have to be rezoned to allow for this.

The development was opposed by Seafa. It is arguing that the development would mean people could not freely get access to the popular promenade area.

It approached the High Court for relief, arguing that the space should remain accessible to the public.

Seafa asked the High Court to review and set aside as flawed an environmental Record of Decision to allow the proposed development.

In March Judges Siraj Desai and Burton Fourie ruled in Seafa’s favour after criticising the manner in which the provincial government approved the development.

On Track later applied for leave to appeal the decision, but the judges refused the application in September.

Now the company has petitioned the Supreme Court of Appeal for leave to appeal.

It filed a 72-page affidavit in which On Track director and shareholder Serena Rosslind claimed the judges had made fundamental errors in fact and law. She alleged they had selected only evidence favourable to Seafa, and ignored or misconstrued issues presented on behalf of On Track.

But Seafa is opposing the application and filed an affidavit in which chairman Bennie Rabinowitz questioned whether On Track was able to meet an adverse costs order in the event the leave to appeal application was granted, and the appeal argued. He said On Track should be required to put up security for costs.

Rabinowitz also submitted that, to succeed in an appeal, On Track would have to show the judges erred in respect of all three grounds of review the court had considered.

However, he added that Seafa believed the company did not have a reasonable prospect of success.

The fantastically moody photograph of waves hitting the promenade, by Fiela!

original article at


Sea Point developers in new bid to appeal ruling on Pavilion

Sea Point Pavilion developer On Track has petitioned the Supreme Court of Appeal for leave to appeal against a Western Cape High Court ruling that halted the proposed development of the promenade and criticised the manner in which the provincial government approved the development.

The R60 million proposed development comprised a multi-storey shopping centre and boutique hotel.

Because the area would have to be rezoned to allow for this, many more developments could have followed.

The plan was opposed by an organisation called Seafront for All (Seafa), whose case was that it could have blocked visitors from the seafront.

The group approached the high court for relief, arguing that the space should remain accessible.

In March judges Siraj Desai and Burton Fourie set aside a record of decision granted by former planning and environment MEC Tasneem Essop that gave the development the nod.

On Track approached the high court last month for leave to appeal, but the application was refused.

Now the developers have petitioned the president of the Supreme Court of Appeal.

They filed a bulky document on Thursday, which included a 72-page affidavit by On Track director and shareholder Serena Rosslind.

Rosslind said the judges had made fundamental errors in fact and law that were of a “gross and stark nature”.

She alleged that they had selected only evidence favourable to Seafa and ignored or misconstrued that presented on behalf of On Track.

She also alleged that the court had considered contents of a newspaper article without obtaining an affidavit from the author, as well as internet articles and a paper “that had nothing to do with the subject of the review”.

Rosslind said the court had ended up placing the onus on Essop to such an extent that every decision taken by an administrator on South Africa would be regarded as reviewable. “We humbly submit that (Essop) took into account all the relevant factors she was entitled to consider. She cannot be faulted for not taking into account information which was not placed before her and if placed before her, would not have had a bearing on her decision,” Rosslind said.

She said the prospects of success on appeal were good and that another court might come to a different conclusion.

Seafa project manager Janey Ball said she had no doubt the group would oppose the application.

via and the beautiful pic by Damien du Toit


Sea Point lobby group delighted at court ruling

From this

to this?

No thanks.

Sea Point Pavilion developers On Track have failed in a bid to obtain leave to appeal against a Western Cape High Court decision earlier this year, which effectively halted the proposed development of the promenade.

That decision harshly criticised the government’s approval of the development, which opponents argued would threaten the promenade as public open space.

Lobby group Seafront for All (Seafa), which has incurred legal costs of more than R2.2 million fighting the proposed development, expressed delight at yesterday’s decision. But they warned that the battle might not be over if On Track decided to petition the Supreme Court of Appeal for leave to take the matter further.

Seafa chairman Bennie Rabinowitz said it was “unforgivable that civil society should have to carry the burden of the associated costs”. Had the original decisions of officials and politicians been correct, “none of this would be necessary”.

Seafa vowed to continue to ensure the promenade remained public open space, despite legal costs.

The R60m proposed development comprised a multi-storey shopping centre and boutique hotel on the promenade.

Because the area would have been rezoned to allow for this, many more developments could have followed. The opponents said this could have effectively blocked Capetonians and visitors from the seafront.

Seafa approached the court for relief, arguing that the space should remain available and accessible to the public.

The provinc

ial government had withdrawn its initial opposition to Seafa’s application, while the City of Cape Town also abided by the decision.

original article on iolproperty

Costly reverse

Ian Fife – Thursday, 22 Apr 2010

original article on the FM website

Civil society has emerged victorious in its battle to save the Sea Point pavilion in Cape Town from redevelopment into a hotel and shopping centre.

But last month’s Cape Town high court judgment against the developers and the provincial government begs the question of what the DA government in the Western Cape is doing to clean up the widespread cronyism, possibly corruption, under its ANC predecessors, led by Ebrahim Rasool.  Judges Burton Fourie and Siraj Desai reviewed and set aside former environment MEC Tasneem Essop’s record of decision that approved turning a public space in Sea Point into a major development.

Continue reading

Sea Point: safe from harm

Article by Kabous le Roux, original here

My wife and I regularly go for evening walks along the Sea Point beachfront, one of my favourite spots in and around the Cape Town city centre.

There are more than three kilometers of flat, paved walkway along the length of Sea Point with dramatic views of the mountain on one side and the wide open ocean on the other. And the sunsets! You have to see it to really appreciate it.

All along the path there are large lawns where people have picnics or play games such as informal soccer or touch rugby matches. Many families go there to get fresh air and spend some quality time together. You’ll find people jogging from one end to the other while others will be walking their dogs. There’ll be children playing cheerfully and old ladies gossiping on the benches. It’s an awesome, chilled-out vibe and a great place to enjoy the city and its people.

The young, the old, the rich and the poor love the Promenade. In fact, I can’t think of another public space in Cape Town where its ultra diverse population mixes so effortlessly. The Promenade is one of those places that makes you feel grateful you live in such an amazing place.

All of which explains The Dance of Joy I did upon hearing the news of the Cape High Court’s ruling against the rezoning and development of the Sea Point Pavilion site.

Do we need even more shopping malls, boutique hotels or über-trendy coffee shops? I would say no, but I’d admit it’s debatable. Do we need them in one of the last remaining open spaces in a city that seems to have shopping malls, boutique hotels and a vida e café on every corner? Hell no!

The failure of the Province and the City to see the inappropriateness of this development (as well as the determined fight against it) makes me think of a Nine Inch Nails song from way back:

God money’s not looking for the cure;
God money’s not concerned with the sick among the pure;
God money let’s go dancing on the backs of the bruised;
God money’s not one to choose.

No, you can’t take it; no you can’t take that away from me!

Thank you so much to Seafront for All (SEAFA) for fighting to preserve the Sea Point Promenade!

SEAFA, an organisation funded by private individuals, will now mount a fundraising campaign to cover its legal costs. According to Bennie Rabinowitz, the Chairperson of SEAFA, their costs have been significant. “It is disgraceful that civil society has had to protect interests which government should rightly have upheld,” said Rabinowitz.

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Victory for SEAFA

The Cape Town High Court has made a landmark ruling in favour of environmental lobby group Seafront for All over the Seapoint Pavilion site. In November 2007 Seafa lodged an application with the high court for the set-aside and review of the Environmental Record of Decision by former Western Cape MEC Tasneem Essop.

Seafa’s Project Manager, Janey Ball said that the legal wrangling has finally been put to bed on Friday. “The last two years have been building up to the high court application which was finalised on Friday when judges Seraj Desai and Burton Fourie found in favour for Seafa and required that the Environmental Record of Decision was set aside.”


Twelve years ago the City of Cape Town called for the proposal to develop the Seapoint Pavilion site and at first proposed that 1,700 square meters be developed. “The end result … the proposal that was accepted was in fact 6,700 square meters and in fact a lot more than that when we calculated the space from the drawing,” said Ball.

The architectural plans also showed that a hotel and a shopping mall would have been built on that land. The rezoning of the area was required and the public participated in the environmental impact assessment, upon which the Record of Decision was then issued. This allowed for the rezoning process to take place.

“That was appealed in the public participation process,” explained Ball. “…and then appealed again formally to the minister who then issued a revised Record of Decision concerning her original decision. So that paved the way for the development of the Seapoint Pavilion site,” she added.


Ball emphasised that Seafa was not against the development of site but they were, however, against the rezoning application that would have placed the public open space in private hands for commercial use. The court ruling now means that the city must withdraw the proposal call as well as their support for the rezoning application.

“The city will need to apply its mind to the judgment and to the papers before it,” said Ball. “But they’ve indicated in the past they would consider doing so and we hope that they will. It’s totally inappropriate to develop that land as a shopping complex or hotel site,” she continued. “It’s used very intensively by the whole community of Cape Town and it’s one of the places where democracy can really be seen at work.”

VOC (Faatimah Hendricks)

Halt to Sea Point development welcomed

Campaigners against the private development of Sea Point Pavilion are “delighted” it has been stopped.
Sea Front For All (Seafa) on Friday won its case in the Western Cape High Court against the then MEC of Environmental Affairs Tasneem Essop and the provincial government to allow the development to go ahead on certain conditions.

The development now has to be considered afresh by her successor.

Sea Point, Fresnaye, Bantry Bay Ratepayers and Residents’ Association chair Aris Vayanos said he was looking forward to the new participation process.

“We wish to remain involved in the process. As residents of the area we’d like to see Sea Point stay as it is, as an open space.”

On Track Developments wanted to build an upmarket hotel which would extend onto the beach below the high water mark.

The developer needed written authorisation under the Environmental Conservation Act (ECA). It also needed special authorisation for construction below the high-water mark.

Seafa project manager Janey Ball said she was heartened by the wide-ranging support the project had attracted and the positive reaction from residents following the ruling.

“Our focus will remain on the protection and preservation of the public open space. We’ll continue to keep an eye on the process as it is referred to the MEC for consideration,” said Ball.

“We will also urgently ask the city to withdraw the original proposal call which set the entire project in motion.

“In its current intended form it is non-negotiable. We will continue to oppose that in the strongest possible terms.

“If they were to consider development it would require a full environmental impact assessment,” said Ball.

Seafa challenged the validity of such environmental approval granted on appeal by Essop in 2007 after her department had previously granted approval.

They argued that no alternatives to the development were considered and the MEC had relied on outdated and incorrect information.

She had also relied on a report by a consultancy company with a financial interest in the approval of the development, they said. They claimed she had not balanced the need for the development with an adverse impact on public open space.

Only On Track opposed the application as the MEC and provincial government withdrew its opposition and the City of Cape Town never opposed it.

Former MEC Pierre Uys conceded in an affidavit that his predecessor had based her decision on a report by a party with a financial interest.

Judges Burton Fourie and Siraj Desai agreed with Seafa that Essop’s decision was flawed and set out guidelines in their judgment that had to be taken into account by the current administration in reconsidering the development application.

  • This article was originally published on page 1 of The Cape Times on March 29, 2010